fit-20

Fit-20 Workout 08-04-15

If I could choose only one 20-minute workout to do, this would be it.

(Although that would be a horrible proposition, because I get bored with workouts pretty quickly, and I love trying new things - but all things considered, this is a great workout that can grow with you as you get faster-stronger-bigger (or smaller - whichever you're going for.))

20-Minute Workout
  • Running - 12 minutes
  • Rest - 1 minute
  • Push-ups - 3 minutes
  • Rest - 1 minute
  • Pull-ups - 3 minutes

Running
  • Set a timer for 6 minutes and go! When the timer beeps, turn around and head home.
  • I use RunKeeper as my timer, with audio cues set for every 3 minutes. I try to make negative splits, where each 3-minute section is faster than the previous one - 'warm up', 'get into the groove', 'pick up the pace', and 'push hard for the final section' - as a way to break out each 3-minute cue.
  • If you can't run for 12 minutes, start out by walking, then by walking with some jogging mixed in, then jogging slowly, before eventually you can run at a faster pace.
  • Jogging slowly should get you about a mile; running with blazing speed could get you two miles. I consider anything in the 1.5 mile (8-minute mile pace) range as pretty fast. 

Push-ups
  • Do as many as you can in three minutes, taking short breaks as necessary.
  • If you can only do a couple push-ups at a time, that's ok. Do a couple, take a short rest, and try to do a couple more. If you still have time left but can't do any more, try doing negatives - start in the up position and lower yourself down as slowly as possible.
  • When you can pump out push-ups with ease, up and down like a piston, doing 90 push-ups over the 180 allotted seconds, you'll be in great shape! Even then you can always add from the Advanced, Core, and Combination section of the Push-ups page.
  • You don't have to be able to do 90 push-ups before mixing in the core work or combination work, but I'd recommend being able to do 30 in a row - slow and steady with great form, before adding in additional difficulty.

Pull-ups
  • Do as many as you can in three minutes, taking short breaks as necessary.
  • I currently do three quick sets - pull-ups, chin-ups, and neutral grip pull-ups - with a short break in between each set. (The sets don't take long when you can't even do 10 in a row!)
  • Pull-ups are very difficult when starting out. You can stand on a stool or chair and do negatives (start at the top and lower yourself slowly), or you can use your legs to help lift/spot yourself. Try to use your legs less and less over time, until you can do a pull-up by yourself.
    • Once you can do one pull-up, it's just a matter of time and practice until you'll be able to do two, and from there the sky's the limit!
  • If you can do pull-ups for three minutes straight - you're like Superman, and there probably isn't anything I can teach you about fitness..

Final Thoughts

This is one of those workouts that's very simple, yet can grow with you over time. If you think it's too hard today, keep at it and watch yourself make great progress in a relatively short amount of time. When you think it's getting easier, simply turn up the intensity, just a little bit, and it'll knock you on your butt again!

I've been doing this workout a couple times a week since the weather heated up, and I'm both happy with my progress and frustrated by how much better I want to do. That's a good love-hate relationship to have with your workout..

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

- Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout - Kettlebell with Stairs

Fit-20 Workout - Kettlebell with Stairs


Last night I was going to workout upstairs, but my kettlebell was downstairs. As I carried the kettlebell up the stairs, I had an idea for a new workout...



For those of you new to the Fitness Gazette site, Fit-20 Workouts are workouts designed to give you a full-body workout, muscles and cardio, in about 20 minutes, using little or no gym equipment. Ideally you can squeeze a workout in before work, or at lunch, without squeezing your family out of the picture. Click here to see a list of past Fit-20 Workouts.

Today's Workout

  • Stairs. Carry the kettlebell up and back down a flight of stairs. Alternate which hand holds the kettlebell each trip. (Easier - alternate going up or down, not both, between each exercise; Advanced - up and down twice between each exercise, once with your right hand holding the kettlebell and once with your left.)
  • 2-handed Kettlebell Swings - 18. (Easier, do 12; Advanced, do 25)
  • Stairs
  • Kettlebell Cleans - 12 Each Hand. (Easier - 8; Advanced - 16)
  • Stairs
  • Kettlebell Snatch - 12 Each Hand. (Easier - 8; Advanced - 16)
  • Repeat for 4 cycles
  • Time yourself. Your goal the next time you do this workout should be to beat your time, and/or to do more repetitions of each exercise.

To your fitness,

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 02-19-13

Fit-20 Workout 02-19-13

kettlebells
image credit: fitsational.com

It was a Kettlebell day, and it was an awesome workout.

For those of you new to the Fitness Gazette site, Fit-20 Workouts are workouts designed to give you a full-body workout, muscles and cardio, in about 20 minutes, using little or no gym equipment. Ideally you can squeeze a workout in before work, or at lunch, without squeezing your family out of the picture. Click here to see a list of past Fit-20 Workouts.

Today's Workout

Set a repeating timer for 25 seconds, then do:

  • Kettlebell Swings (2-handed, or alternating one-handed)
  • Cleans - right hand
  • Cleans - left hand
  • Figure 8
  • Squat to Press - right hand (from the clean position, do 2 squats, then do 2 presses. repeat.)
  • Squat to Press - left hand
  • Curls - holding it "upside-down", with the KB facing outward away from your body (2-handed is ok if you can't do it with a single hand)
  • Lunges - hold KB in the "up" position from finishing a curl, and do lunges, alternating legs.
  • Burpees (if you can't do 25 seconds' worth of Burpees, substitute Mountain Jumpers or Mountain Climbers)
  • 100-Ups
  • Rest

Repeat for 4 cycles

Whew! 8 Exercises, 25 seconds each, for 18 minutes. Doesn't sound too hard when I read it, but that's a tough workout!

Stay strong,

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 09-28-12

Fit-20 Workout 09-28-12


Yesterday's workout was a good one, so I wanted to share it with you.


For those of you new to the Fitness Gazette site, Fit-20 Workouts are workouts designed to give you a full-body workout, muscles and cardio, in about 20 minutes, using little or no gym equipment. Ideally you can squeeze a workout in before work, or at lunch, without squeezing your family out of the picture. Click here to see a list of past Fit-20 Workouts.

Workout

5 Rounds, for time:
  • 5 Burpees 
  • One-arm Kettlebell Swings - 8 per arm, switching arms at each swing. Bonus points if you give the KB a little toss in the air as you switch arms. Double bonus if you can "flip" the KB, so the handle spins around in mid air before your other hand catches it.
  • Kettlebell Shuffle* - 5 times. Set up 2 cones about 5-10 yards apart, and place the Kettlebell on the ground at cone 1. Pick up the KB and run-jug-shuffle to cone 2, where you set it down. Run back to cone 1, then run back to cone 2. Pick up the KB and run-jog-shuffle it back to cone 1, where you set it down. Run back to cone 2, then run back to cone 1. That's 1 time - do this 4 more times.

*Note - I don't know if Kettlebell Shuffle is an official name. I came up with the exercise last night, and LOVED it. You can bet I'll be doing more of these in the future!

I finished in about 15 minutes. I was winded and my heart was racing, but I wasn't muscle exhausted, so I spent a few minutes trying to do KB curls and presses (with the KB facing away from the handle/body) - those are hard. Next time I do this Fit-20 routine I will add one more exercise to the mix, just to get a little more muscle work in and to make it last closer to 20 minutes..

Train hard,

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 08-28-12

Fit-20 Workout 08-28-12


I haven't posted a Fit-20 workout in about a month, but I have had a few people ask if I actually do these workouts (or a variation of that question.)


For those of you new to the Fitness Gazette site, Fit-20 Workouts are workouts designed to give you a full-body workout, muscles and cardio, in about 20 minutes, using little or no gym equipment. Ideally you can squeeze a workout in before work, or at lunch, without squeezing your family out of the picture. Click here to see a list of past Fit-20 Workouts.

Personally, sometimes I workout using equipment which isn't readily available (swimming in a pool, or my favorite piece of equipment ever), and other times I workout for longer than 20 minutes. But in cases where I do a Fit-20 style workout, it makes sense to go ahead and share it. Yesterday's was a good one:

Workout

Warm up first. 3-5 minutes of whatever gets you ready to go. Then:

4 Rounds, for time, of:
  • 8 Dips
  • 10 Dumbbell Thrusters (I used 20lb DBs)
  • 5 Change-grip Pull-ups. (Do a pull-up. While you're "up", move your hands to a different position. Lower down and do a pull-up from the new position. Repeat.)
  • 8 Push-ups
  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 2 Sprints of 30 seconds - (On a treadmill, I ran 30 seconds each at Level 7, Level 10, Level 7, Level 10.)

I forgot to hit my stopwatch when I started, but I finished in about 25 minutes, maybe a tad longer.

Hope you enjoy it!

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-30-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-30-12



* Note - This is the final Fit-20 Workout in the 26-workout set. If you've been doing these, congratulations - you made it through a full round of short-but-intense workouts! I'm going to focus my attention more on the diet and nutrition side of the equation for the next couple months, but that doesn't mean you can't continue to workout. You can click here to see a list of all 26 Fit-20 Workouts. If you start at the beginning and do 3 per week, it will take you 2 months to get through the set. (and for anyone who's repeating, I'd be interested to hear how much better/faster/stronger you are the 2nd time through!)


For those new to the blog, the Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

For time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first):

1.) Run 1/4 Mile

2.) 4 Rounds of:

3.) Run 1/4 Mile

Remember, Intensity matters - push yourself as hard as you can while staying safe.

How'd you do? Remember to log your results when you're done. Did you complete the circuit? How fast? Did you stop at 20 minutes? How far did you get? Write it down, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-27-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-27-12



The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.


Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

4 Rounds, for time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first), of:
Remember, Intensity matters - push yourself as hard as you can while staying safe.

How'd you do? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-25-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-25-12



* Note - This is the 24th Fit-20 Workout I've published. I'm going to publish a couple more, and then pause for a bit to focus more on the diet & nutrition side of the equation. Once we have 26 workouts, if you continue to do 3 per week, it will take you 2 months to get through the set. Then you can start over at the beginning and rotate through them again. (and I'd be interested to hear how much better/faster/stronger you are the 2nd time through!)


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

5 Rounds, for time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first), of:
Remember, Intensity matters - push yourself as hard as you can while staying safe.

How'd you do? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-23-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-23-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

5 Rounds, for time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first), of:

Whew - that was tough. How'd you do? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-20-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-20-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout


Start by running a path that leads away from your house (or office, or other starting point.) For each rep listed, you'll run HARD for the amount of time listed, then you'll jog slowly for the same amount of time. Repeat for the number of reps listed.

  • Intervals - 4 Reps of 30 seconds each
  • Intervals - 4 Reps of 15 seconds each
  • 25 Mountain Climbers (each leg - 50 total)
  • 15 Sit-ups
  • (turn around and head home)
  • Intervals - 4 Reps of 45 seconds each
  • Intervals - 4 Reps of 10 seconds each
  • 25 Mountain Climbers (each leg - 50 total)
  • 15 Sit-ups

How'd you do? Where was your turn-around point? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-18-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-18-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

Do as many as you can in 16 minutes of:
  1. 6 DumbBell Thrusters
  2. 6 Mountain Jumpers
  3. 6 Sit-ups
  4. 6 Box Jumps - from a standing position, jump up to a box or step (6-24 inches, depending on your ability), then jump back down.

How'd you do? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-16-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-16-12



The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.


Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, stretching, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

Run 2.5 miles
  • Run as fast as you can - remember intensity matters.
  • If / when you can't keep up your pace, rest by jogging slower. Once you catch your breath, speed up again.
  • If you can breathe through your nose, or you can carry a conversation while you're running, you're not running fast enough.

Once you're done, remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-13-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-13-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.


Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, stretching, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

Part 1
4 Rounds of:

Part 2
4 Rounds of:

Once you're done, remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-11-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-11-12

The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.


Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

7 Rounds, For time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first), of:

1.) Sprint out, away from your starting point.
2.) Walking Lunges, 5 each leg
3.) Sprint back to your starting point.
4.) Burpees, 5 per round

* Note - Advanced Level - if you complete the routine in less than 10 minutes, consider increasing the difficulty. Add length to your sprints. Add more lunges and burpees. Add more rounds.

We want to beat our Personal Record, but then we want to up the ante - it feels great when you get to a point where you're killing a workout that would have killed you a few months ago!

How'd you do? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-09-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-09-12

The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.


Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

For time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first.)

1.) 100-Ups

2.) 4 Rounds of:
3.) 100-Ups

How'd you do? Remember to log your results, so you'll have a benchmark to shoot for next time.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-06-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-06-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

4 Rounds, for time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first.)
  1. Run 1/4 mile.
  2. 8 Burpees to Pull-ups.  Do a burpee underneath a pull-up bar (or tree limb, or anything else you can use to do a pull-up). Then, at the end of the burpee, when you jump into the air, grab the pull-up bar and do a pull-up.
  3. 16 Dumbbell Swings
That's it. Remember to log your results, so you know you're time to beat next time!

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-04-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-04-12


Today is a holiday, but it's still Wednesday, which means we should be able to get a workout in at some point. Instead of posting a normal Fit-20, we'll call today a wildcard - do whatever workout you want for 20 minutes.

Some ideas:
  • Get an early morning run or bike ride in, before it gets too hot.
  • You'll probably be swimming at some point today with your family, why not turn a few laps in the pool.
  • Pick whichever Fit-20 workout you liked the best, and see if you can beat your time.
  • Pick the Fit-20 workout that was the hardest for you, and see if you're stronger/faster than you were the first time you did it.

Or, call it a holiday and take the day off!

I hope you enjoy your 4th of July, and I'll have a new Fit-20 for you on Friday.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 07-02-12

Fit-20 Workout 07-02-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, shadow boxing, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

5 Rounds, for time (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first.)
  1. Sprints - SPRINT! 50-100 yards, jog back, and do it again. Adjust the distance to your ability; you should be leaving everything you've got on the track.
  2. 6 Dumbbell Renegade Rows (6 each arm, 12 total)
  3. 10 Squats (advanced level, for when squats get too easy, do weighted squats.)
Whew - that one was tough! Now go log your results, so you know you're time to beat next time!

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 06-29-12

Fit-20 Workout 06-29-12


The Fit-20 concept is simple: 20 minutes, wherever you are, with little or no equipment needed, so you can squeeze a full-body workout into your day without skipping sleep, skipping work, or skipping out on your family.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, dancing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

3 Rounds of:
  1. Shadow Boxing - 4 minutes. 1-minute rounds of boxing, resting, boxing, resting. *Advanced Level - box for 3 minutes then rest for 1 minute.
  2. Mountain Climbers - 1 minute, as many as you can do.
  3. Sit-ups - 1 minute, as many as you can do.

That's it - you should feel pretty good after finishing this one. Now go log your results.

-Chris Butterworth

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Fit-20 Workout 06-27-12

Fit-20 Workout 06-27-12


20 Minutes. Wherever you are. Push hard - give it everything you've got. Then be done, and get on with your day.

Today's Workout

Warm up (2-5 min) - wake your body up and get ready to go using whatever works best for you. Running in place, jogging, dancing, shadow boxing, jumping jacks - anything you want.

Workout

Complete the entire workout in the shortest amount of time that you can. (or stop at 20 minutes, whichever comes first.)

1. Run 1/4 mile

2. Pyramid Sets*, 1 through 10, of the following:

* (do 1 of each exercise, then do 2 of each, then 3, 4, etc., all the way through 10.)

Lunges (the number in each set is per leg.)

* Need a bigger challenge? Try doing pyramid sets from 2 through 11.
** Advanced level - do pyramid sets from 3 through 12.

3. Run 1/4 mile

Done. Now go catch your breath! Then take a minute to log your results.

-Chris Butterworth

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